Vocational School Training
How to Find the Right One Near Juneau Alaska
Enrolling in a trade school near Juneau AK with the ultimate goal of starting a new profession can be a life changing accomplishment that requires prior due diligence and careful planning. But just how do you accomplish finding the best one with so many trade schools to select from? Of course you must select a school that is reputable and well regarded so you can be assured that you will obtain the extensive training needed to succeed in your new field. One of the first things that most prospective students hone in on when starting their search is how far the vocational schools are from their homes. Next, they check tuition and typically gravitate toward the most affordable cost. Naturally the location and cost of the programs are significant considerations when assessing vocational school options, but they can not be the sole ones. For instance, you must ask if the vocational schools are accredited, or if they provide job placement assistance. So prior to beginning your evaluations and comparing trade schools, you must know what questions to ask so you can get the information to make a final choice. We will address several of those questions later in this article. But to start with, let's talk about a few of the trade options that are offered as well as the availability of online schools.
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Trade School Career Options
There are an abundance of professions to pick from in vocational schools that offer rewarding and good paying careers. Possibly you have already decided on one that you have for years desired to pursue. For instance, maybe you have always had fun working on your car and have considered utilizing that ability to make a living as a car mechanic. Or perhaps a family member has had a long and successful career in a certain vocation or trade and you would like to follow in her or his footsteps. Regardless of what your motivation is for entering a trade, there is undoubtedly a program available that will give you the training that you need. Following is just a modest representation of the vocational training programs that are offered in the Juneau AK area.
- Automotive Technician
- Heating and Cooling (HVAC) Tech
- Electrical Technician
- Truck Driver
- Aircraft Maintenance Tech
- Lab Tech
- Construction Management
All programs will have varying completion times and costs depending on the trade, credential earned and school. A number of the programs may be completed in a few weeks, while others will necessitate several months or even 2 or more years of instruction. Each of these variables need to be considered before selecting a vocation and school.
Online Trade School Programs
Schools available online have become more attractive with Juneau AK students and increasingly more accredited programs are becoming available. Although online learning is a very convenient and accessible way to earn a degree or certificate, it may not be the best option for every vocation or trade. For instance, training to drive a tractor trailer is not something that you can accomplish online, nor is training how to weld. These are skills that must be acquired through practical training and by doing it, not by studying or watching videos. But certain elements of the training can be appropriate for online classes, for example learning safety and driving regulations for trucking schools or studying metallurgy or how to read blueprints for welding schools. A number of programs will blend online education with on-campus practical training, such as for electrician or welding schools. So it is crucial to determine before choosing an online school for any trade if there is a suitable amount of practical training allocated to the course of study. One way to help establish that a vocational school program is both appropriate for online education and delivers in-depth practical training is to confirm that it's accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). For those vocations that are suitable for online training, it can be a practical way for individuals with limited time to learn a new profession.
Questions to Ask Vocational School Programs
As soon as you have decided on the vocation and type of degree or certificate that you would like to acquire, either on campus or online, you can start to decrease your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous trade schools in the Juneau AK area and all over the Country to pick from. That's why it is essential to have a checklist of relevant qualifiers when making school comparisons. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the initial 2 factors you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many Juneau AK area technical schools have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Confirm that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you receive a quality education, it can help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, some states require that the training program be accredited for it to be approved for licensing where applicable.
How Long in Operation? One indicator to help determine the quality of a trade school near Juneau AK is how long it has been in operation. A poorly ranked or a fly by night school usually will not be in business very long, so longevity is a big plus. On the other hand, even the top schools had to start from their opening day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifiers.
Completion Rates. Ask the tech schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate could suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It might also signify that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It's similarly imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which may produce more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help graduates obtain apprenticeships or jobs in the Juneau AK area.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of businesses or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with Juneau AK area contractors in the trade. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the technician you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Juneau AK contracting company if they can provide some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within driving distance of your home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It's desirable that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak to some of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is in Alaska and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Juneau AK, check that the programs you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.
Learn More About Trade Schools in Juneau
Enroll in the Right Juneau Trade School
Enrolling in the right trade school near Juneau AK is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career in the vocation of your choice. As we have discussed in this article, you should select a vocational school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the profession. Other factors to look for are sufficient practical training and modern facilities. You should check out each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling options and whether or not evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to ask about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the proper questions as we have laid out in our checklist for comparing schools, you'll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed professional in your chosen trade.